Dreadnought Missiles in the Dominion war?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by Rayleo02, May 21, 2018.

  1. Rayleo02

    Rayleo02 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Sep 10, 2017
    Kansas City, MO
    Why didn't the Dominion/Cardassian alliance use Dreadnought missiles during the Dominion war?
    It seems like the perfect weapon against shipyards/starbases.
    Tenacity and Farscape One like this.
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Hmm. In which ways is the missile better than a starship?

    - It can kill fixed targets with one shot. A starship typically has to loiter for a while to achieve the same.
    - It can operate without a crew. Some users may consider crews expensive, one way or another. Most starships flying without a crew have been passive. But e.g. the Promeheus fought pretty well with only AIs aboard.

    In which ways is it worse?

    - It can only ever fire this one "shot", as opposed to a starship. Starships might be significantly cheaper weapons "per pound destroyed", then.
    - It needs a super-advanced computer to achieve the required mission independence. Starships even without full crew don't need this no doubt expensive piece of equipment.

    The rest seems neutral. It can do warp nine like any modern ship. It seems to be difficult to destroy in flight by a single starship, being resilient to fire and capable of firing back, just like any modern ship. Dreadnought itself had a measure of long range stealth, but this was probably added by Torres, and whether Cardassia could do the same is unknown.

    So it boils down to whether the cost of automation and non-reuseability is higher or lower than the cost of crew. Cardassians expended at least one of these things against a Maquis munitions dump, a seeming low-value target defended by a weak opponent. Does this mean they

    a) could spare these cheap things even against soft targets, even though they could do more when needed?
    b) felt the Maquis were a hard target worth a silver bullet?
    c) had political reasons for not sending a crewed starship to do the job?

    Only b) would make it odd that the missiles were not used against the Alpha Axis in the Dominion War. And even there a saturation attack might be too expensive. We see it takes hundreds of ships to get through planetary defenses, or those of a starbase (including a non-purpose-built one like DS9). Cardassia might prefer to build a hundred crewed ships, or 99 of those per every missile.

    Usually, long range bombardment in Trek has only been a concern if stealth is included (the putative Maquis missiles of "Blaze of Glory", the long range torps of ST:ID). And Cardassia only got cloaks for the Obsidian Order from the Tal'Shiar.

    Timo Saloniemi
  3. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 14, 2016
    might have been some gul's pet project, when it failed the project was folded.
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
    Bry_Sinclair likes this.
  4. Sophie74656

    Sophie74656 Commodore Commodore

    Aug 10, 2016
    New Jersey
    Maybe they weren't "worth it"? It was a lot of technology in something that was designed to blow up
    Bry_Sinclair likes this.
  5. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 28, 2009
    Orbiting Urectum
    Pretty much covers everything I was going to say.